Tech

Who Owns the Future?

I’m currently reading a very interesting book by Jaron Lanier, one of the pioneers of virtual reality and a real Silicon Valley veteran. His 2013 book Who Owns The Future? was forwarded to me after I wrote a three-part series on gift economies here on Thought Leader. Although I have come across his work before,…

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A vision for an African infrastructure agenda

The recognition that the African continent’s infrastructure gap still remains a development challenge has reached consensus among the international development community and African governments alike. Not only is Africa’s level of endowment low, but the continent also faces higher access costs for all infrastructure services compared with other developing regions around the world. When all…

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The slow descent into social media’s superficiality

I think I know why social media is good for everyone. I just think I do, but don’t really. Besides being a vehicle for sparking Arab Springs, social media is first with the news and enhances your brand if you’re a journalist, editor, social commentator or political analyst. In fact if you’re none of these…

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Africa’s mobile revolution in education

For a continent that has historically been largely unconnected via land-based telecommunications, mobile telephony uptake over the last few years has been nothing short of a revolution on the African continent. In 1995 there were an estimated 600 000 mobile phone subscriptions in Africa. A decade later this number rose to 87 million and in 2012 it…

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The importance of technology for education

In a globalised economy with a high degree of competition among countries, the success of a nation depends on the educational level of its workforce. This is true not only for those just entering or already integrated into the labour market but also for the unemployed, who may lack the qualifications required by the growing…

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The importance of financial inclusion in the developing world

Financial inclusion poses policy challenges on a scale and with an urgency that is unique for developing countries, which house nearly 90% of the world’s unbanked population. Developing country policymakers have recognised that complex and multi-dimensional factors contribute to financial exclusion and therefore require a comprehensive variety of providers, products and technologies that work within…

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The online world is not the story of South Africa

We live in an age where real-time information is very accessible owing to the internet and social media networks. We hear people’s opinions on almost every major story as it happens as can be witnessed in the coverage of the Oscar Pistorius case. This has led to the increasing reference of social media networks in…

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Tech spreads slowly

This is a story of how my ego taught me a hard lesson in entrepreneurship. I used to work for some really big publishing companies, till in 2006 I left them to co-found an ebook production company. I thought ebook technology was moving fast, and that I was just in time to catch the ebook…

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The importance of technology in economic and social development

Technological innovation and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing world nations to foster economic development, improve levels of education and training as well as address gender issues within society. Entrepreneurship is crucial for economic development around the world. In countries such as Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia, micro-entrepreneurs generate 38% of the gross…

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Twitter won’t give you Aids but…

Twitter is not the healthiest of habits. It sucks hours. It sucks days. It requires dedication. It requires long stretches of inactivity. It makes you lie to yourself. It makes you tell yourself that you are learning something by continuously refreshing your feed to read the latest article or tweet from such and such opinion…

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